Did you know that Singapore’s current president, Mdm Halimah Yacob, won the Berita Harian Achiever of the Year in 2001? This award, introduced in 1998, honours those who can be looked upon as role models for the Malay/Muslim community in Singapore.
Its high barrier to entry means that only the cream of the crop are considered. For starters, one has to stand out from the crowd. He or she also has to show perseverance, determination, the ability to overcome adversity as well as possess an outstanding integrity. Those who qualify would then have to be unanimously endorsed by the Berita Harian editorial team as well as a team of professionals.
In other words, you need to be truly exemplary to be nominated. Testament to this are the worthy winners chosen over the years – the first Malay heart specialist (Dr Abdul Razakjr Omar), the first Malay female president (Halimah Yacob), a master potter (Iskandar Jalil) and a veteran composer (Iskandar Mirza Ismail) amongst many others.
In 2013, Berita Harian introduced a new award for aspiring young Malay/Muslim individuals below the age of 30, known as Berita Harian Young Achiever of the Year. The inspiring stories of these youths have served as motivation for more to follow in their footsteps. The most recent winner, boxer Muhamad Ridhwan, emphasised that the best way to inspire others is to win his fights and prove that Singaporean boxers can do well.